Literature, Living Books

Winter “Why” Tales

Here’s a lovely little children’s storybook featuring two fanciful wintertime stories: “Why the Bear Sleeps All Winter”, and “Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves”. Great “fairy tale” style read alouds for younger listeners on a chilly winter day!

To download this pdf ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer. Mac users: Press the “control” key and then click the link and save to your mac.

Holidays, Living Books, Video

A Christmas Carol (the best animated version ever!)

A Christmas Carol (streaming video)

Here is one of the spookiest, most faithful adaptations of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” ever. Richard Williams’ beautifully-executed animated version of Charles Dickens’ timeless seasonal parable won the 1972 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, but to this day has yet to receive a DVD release anywhere. And that is such a shame! This is an amazing adaptation of Dickens’ story, an animation tour-de-force based on the original book illustrations from early editions of Dickens’ book. It is beautifully done, and captures aspects of the original that other dramatizations of this classic story have missed. 25 minutes long, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Parents, be warned this is genuinely spooky in some spots (as is the original story), so some of this might be frightening to very young children. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

History, Holidays, Living Books

The Christmas of 1776

The Christmas of 1776: A Young Maiden’s Story by Anne Hollingsworth Wharton (PDF ebook)

Today’s resource is this delightful short story of a young girl’s Christmas experiences during the tumultuous time of the American Revolution, taken from the book “A Last Century Maiden” by Anne Hollingsworth Wharton. Lots of fascinating history and details of old-time holiday celebrations make this story a great read-aloud for the whole family! Check it out!

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

History, Holidays, Living Books

The First New England Christmas

“The First New England Christmas: A Story of Life in the Colonies” by Stone & Frickett (PDF ebook)

Today’s resource is this excellent short story of the first Christmas in New England, in the year 1620. If you’ve been curious as to how the early Pilgrims celebrated Christmas, read this – you may be surprised at what you discover!

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

Living Books

Being a Boy

Being A Boy, by Charles Dudley Warner (PDF ebook)

Today’s resource is this absolutely delightful and entertaining book about the life of a farm boy in New England in the early 1800s. As we go through the seasons of the year, we learn of the hard work, play, holidays, interests and pasttimes of farm boys of the day, and also of their family and community life in those bygone days. Written in the later 1800s with a realistic but warm and nostalgic style, this would make an excellent read aloud, and is also a great “living history” book that captures a glimpse of childhood and rural life in pre-Civil War days. What an eye opener. Highly recommended!

Excerpt:
One of the best things in the world to be is a boy; it requires no experience, though it needs some practice to be a good one. The disadvantage of the position is that it does not last long enough; it is soon over; just as you get used to being a boy, you have to be something else, with a good deal more work to do and not half so much fun. And yet every boy is anxious to be a man, and is very uneasy with the restrictions that are put upon him as a boy.

And a review from a mom from a few years ago when we first featured this story:

Great book!  Am nearly finished reading it aloud to my 11 and 12-yr-old sons. They’re enjoying it, and it has helped to increase their vocabulary. Extremely well-written although some sentences are a bit run-on. The author is not just a writer, but a poet, a wordsmith. My sons’ eyes have been opened to the hardships of late-1800 farm life, but also, they joyfully relate to the boyish, wildly imaginative heart of the boy and the self-made adventures he enjoys which transcend generations. The boy freely admits his boyish misbehavings and offers excuses, but the reader knows that the heart means well; it’s just that there’s a huge, wonderful, delectable world all around him to explore and savor, and it continually tugs him away from his chores. All-the-while, though, he is growing (sometimes relunctantly) into the mind and responsibilies of an awkward young man. I hope you offer this again for everyone who missed it. – Karen

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and save to your computer. Mac users, press the control key then click the link and save to your mac.

Living Books, Nature Studies

The First Book of Water

The First Book of Water by Jo & Ernest Norling (PDF ebook) – Today’s resource is a volume in the “Giant Nature Library” series, this GREAT science picture book for young readers all about water – what it is, what it does, why it is so important for all life, and much more. There’s biology, meteorology geology, physics and a whole lot more bundled up in this very informative and wonderfully illustrated text. Again, highly recommended for your homeschooling library!

This is a scanned copy of the original book, and is best viewed on a computer.

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE then “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

Holidays, Living Books

The Children’s Book of Thanksgiving Stories

This classic story collection edited by Asa Don Dickinson features dozens of Thanksgiving-related stories for young people by many different authors, and includes everything from fairy tales to true historic narratives. The table of contents notes which ones are more suited to little readers or listeners, and which are better for older readers. There’s lots of fun and heartwarming tales in this vintage collection. Great for read-aloud!

This ebook is available from Project Gutenberg in multiple formats, including kindle, mobi, html and plain text. (But not PDF)

CLICK HERE to go to the download page!

History, Living Books

Mary of Plymouth

Mary of Plymouth: A Story of the Pilgrim Settlement by James Otis (PDF ebook)

“My name is Mary, and I am setting down all these things about our people here in this new world, hoping some day to send my dear friend, Hannah, who lives in Scrooby, England, what may really come to be a story… even though the writer of it is only sixteen years old, having lived in Plymouth since the day our company landed from the Mayflower in 1620, more than eleven years ago…”

So begins this excellent book about the pilgrims and the colony of Plymouth, as told through the eyes of a young pilgrim girl named Mary. This classic “living book”, written by James Otis and originally published in 1910, is full of history, fascinating details about the daily lives of the pilgrims, along with plenty of action and adventure. Profusely illustrated and highly recommended. this is back by popular request! Another great story to share with your kids as we draw closer to our own Thanksgiving celebrations!

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

Living Books

Study Guides for classic Living Books

Rhe Glencoe Literature Library site offers a great collection of Study Guides for lots of popular books for young readers, including titles from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” through “The Yearling” and dozens in between. Each guide is a 10-20 page PDF guide that includes a description and discussion of the novel or play, a list of its related readings, background information and reproducible activity pages for students. A great resource for your literature studies!

Click here to go to their download page!

History, Living Books

Richard of Jamestown

Richard of Jamestown by James Otis (PDF ebook) – A wonderful, highly readable chapter book by James Otis, chronicling the adventures of Richard, a young boy who sails to the new world with the colonists who founded Jamestown. His stories of the hardships and adventures faced by the Jamestown settlers, told from the viewpoint of a young boy, make this great reading for the Fall season. Don’t miss this!

from the foreword:

The purpose of this series of stories is to show the children, and even those who have already taken up the study of history, the home life of the colonists with whom they meet in their books. To this end every effort has been made to avoid anything savoring of romance, and to deal only with facts, so far as that is possible, while describing the daily life of those people who conquered the wilderness whether for conscience sake or for gain.

That the stories may appeal more directly to the children, they are told from the viewpoint of a child, and purport to have been related by a child. Should any criticism be made regarding the seeming neglect to mention important historical facts, the answer would be that these books are not sent out as histories—although it is believed that they will awaken a desire to learn more of the building of the nation—and only such incidents as would be particularly noted by a child are used.

Surely it is entertaining as well as instructive for young people to read of the toil and privations in the homes of those who came into a new world to build up a country for themselves, and such homely facts are not to be found in the real histories of our land.

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer!